Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy
Department of Physics, Engineering Physics & Astronomy

Cosmic Butterflies: The Colourful Mysteries of Planetary Nebulae

Sun Kwok
Institute of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Academia Sinica, Taiwan

Friday, January 14, 2005
7:30 PM @ Stirling D

Abstract:

At the end of a star's life, it wraps itself in a cocoon by spilling out gas and dust. Sometime later, a butterfly-like nebula emerges from the cocoon and develops into what astronomers call a Planetary Nebula. Recent observations by the Hubble Space Telescope have revealed the details of this transformation. In this talk, Dr. Kwok will summarize our modern understanding of planetary nebulae and show how research on Planetary Nebulae has impacted other fields ranging from the mapping of dark matter to new insights into the origin of life.

Dr. Sun Kwok is an international expert on Planetary Nebulae and has written two books on the subject.

This is a public talk, sponsored by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada and Queen's University. All are welcome and admission is free.